Brooks is and always will be one of my favorite story tellers. He started off his career with a book heavily influenced by other Epic fantasies, with very little orginality to the plot, only his characters managed to set him apart. Since the debut of Swords, Brooks has come into his own as a writer. Aside from the very basic good v. evil plot found in almost all fantasy, Brooks has managed to create an intriguing world that attempts to blend magic with science in a rather inventive way. His Genesis series is no exception. I will start off by saying that anyone considering reading this book might want to give his Word/Void series a try first, as it influences the Genesis triology. However, I read Armageddon's Children before I read the Word/Void series, and I faired just fine. Brooks has a very straightforward writing style. True, he may make wonderfully convoluted plots and wonderfully confusing characters(because really, aren't all humans confusing characters? We constantly contradict ourselves), but when it comes to plot every is pretty cut and dry. Save the world from a terrible evil, rise above personal obstacles, find yourself fighting your geatest fears and being humbled by strength you didn't know your enemies possesed. Brooks doesn't get too philosophical, but he doesn't get too literal either. He finds a nice balance and manages to realistically present many different view points and character types.
So yes, this book absolutely deserves the five stars I gave it, as do the other two books in the series. The plot is appealing. Post apocalyptic fantasies aren't a new thing, but Brooks manages to write his trilogy in an inventive way, binding the Word/Void and Genesis series with a world he's worked more than thirty years to shape. As I wrote above, Brooks manages to construct very human characters. Some readers don't like this. It's easier to find yourself liking the perfect image of the person you may want to be opposed to the flawed character that more accurately represents your own faults. If you don't like flawed characters, read someone else. Brooks wont hand you cookie-cutter Mary sues. The antagonists are not always perfectly clear, and there is always more than one force working against the protagonists. The evil isn't always completely black and white either, though don't expect Brooks to hand you too many villains with extensive backgrounds that explain their folly. The few times he does this, it's done very well. Grianne Ohmsford from his Voyage of Jerle Shannara and High Druid of Shannara series is a prime example. I won't delve too much into the plot because I believe that some things should be a surprise. Sometimes I feel too much is given away, or the wrong things are written about. I will say that to those of you who feel the need to whine about cliffhangers, take a chil pill, grow some patience, and stop throwing tantrums. I believe our society is too accustomed to instant gratification. And reading is generally not an instant thing. It takes patience, thought,concentration, and sometimes a great deal of effort. It's a wonderful past time to be sure. I practically live and breathe books. And cliffhangers, in my opinion, are apart of life. Not everything is always resolved right in the moment, and this is the first book of trilogy---of course there's going to be things left unfinished! If it comforts you perspective readers to know, the third book ends very nicely. The only time brooks ever leaves loose ends is when he intends to weave them together again. This series is a wonderful example as Brooks has written a duology to follow it and explain the little that was left unexplained and continue on his epic story. So go, buy this book. You've been warned about the cilffhangers, the series that came before, and the....on second thought, I think i'll end this review on a cliffhanger. >:)